Stalled innovation
In response to Graeme Sutherland’s claims about transistors and computers [DNA of innovation, Rapid Responses, yesterday], the original patent for a transistor was taken out in 1925. Working transistors were first produced in the late 1940s.

Modern computers build on Charles Babbage’s work in the 19th century and Alan Turing’s in the 1940s. The first working electronic digital computer was conceived in 1937 and built in 1942 by John Atanasoff and Clifford Berry.

As with cars, aircraft and telephones, we have improved and developed computers and transistors, but they are now over seventy years old. As for DNA, it was first isolated by Friedrich Miescher in 1869 and its chemical composition shown in 1878. Gregor Mendel published his paper on inheritance in 1866.

Tim Hammond, managing director, Seabury Group